Building muscle is not just about the time spent in the gym. In fact, the majority of your gains can either be destroyed or enhanced through your nutritional intake and a key element when trying to build muscle is building overall mass. Depending on your body type you may find it easier or harder to build mass – but either way, choosing a mass gainer supplement can help for those periods when you are looking to bulk up.
As with most supplements, there are good options and less good options. We take a look at the best mass gainers in the UK to save you the time and money of choosing the wrong option for you.
Firstly though, let’s take a look at what a mass gainer is and whether you should even be using one.
What Is A Mass Gainer?
Mass gainers are a supplement that contains calorie rich proteins, carbohydrates and sometimes fats. They are more calorie dense than standard whey proteins and they are designed to help add mass or weight to your body in a controlled and nutrient rich manner.
Mass gainers should be used if you are looking to add weight or mass through a calorie surplus and you are struggling to do this via food intake alone. It is well worth having an understanding of your daily calorie intake as well as your macro-nutrient breakdown and tracking this (especially when using a mass gainer) is a great way to measure the effectiveness of your nutrition on your body.
Those with an ectomorph (naturally skinny) body type often reap a lot of benefit from taking such supplements and anyone going through a bulking phase will find mass gainers the easiest way to pack on those extra pounds. For anyone following a bulking and cutting cycle, the use of weight gain and mass supplements are particularly convenient as when it comes to cutting (consuming at a calorie deficit) it can often be as simple as changing your mass gainer for a standard whey protein or diet whey protein as well as reducing (not eliminating) your intake of fats and carbohydrates.
There are literally hundreds of options when it comes to nutritional supplementation but we have whittled the best mass gainers down to a top 8 list. It is worth reading our commentary and not just jumping straight for our top pick as our top mass-gainer for one person might not be suitable for the next. That being said, you might also want to try more than one option if you find that your first choice doesn’t give you the results you are looking for.
Top 8 Mass Gainers
We have opted for well known and reputable brands when it comes to compiling this top 8 list. We have tested each of these brands – although not for months on end – so your results may be different to ours. Although taste is a personal preference we have included taste and consistency as part of each mass gainer review as well as considering nutritional content and cost.
Let’s take a look at our top picks.
MyProtein Extreme Gainer
MyProtein is one of the biggest selling supplement brands in the UK and when it comes to muscle building supplements they are known for good quality, low cost products. Extreme Gainer packs a whopping 35g of protein per serving as well as 62g of carbs and 7.8g of fats. MyProtein have also made this more than just a mass gainer with over 10 vitamins and minerals added to the mix and a good 5g dose of creatine per serving.
There are 6 flavours to choose from with two chocolate flavours, vanilla, strawberry and a couple of other flavours if you fancy something a little different. We opted for the smooth chocolate flavour and the vanilla flavour and both tasted pretty much the same as the whey protein equivalents (pretty tasty). You can mix with water or milk and again both options are pretty good with our preference being water as the consistency is a little smoother.
Whilst the MyProtein Extreme Gainer mass builder is not giving a mammoth amount of carbs and protein, it is still much higher than a standard protein shake. It is also easier to manage carb, protein and fat intake thanks to the well proportioned amount of macros within each serving. One serving is classed as three and a half scoops so you can also reduce this if you wanted to spread it out throughout the day which could be a good plan if you are trying to spread your calorie intake out.
In terms of cost, MyProtein is well known for its offers and our link below will take you to the latest deals offered by MyProtein – but even at its base cost it is very affordable compared to some other brands. We also love the convenience of having the creatine and vitamins such as Vitamin A, E, and C, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid and Magnesium – all of which make this our favourite all rounder for those looking to build muscle mass in a controlled manner.
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Bulk Powders Informed Mass
Bulk Powders have become much more of a household name over the last couple of years and they have a good range of flavours as part of their Informed Mass range. Like MyProtein, Bulk Powders have not gone for crazy numbers with their mass gainer and instead they have opted for providing a good long term solution that is well geared to ‘hard-gainers’ or those with ectomorph body types. The reason we say this is that the ingredients used in Informed Mass are pretty natural and the sugar and sweetener content is relatively low – making it a good long term option.
With 45g of protein and a total of 566 calories per serving, this is still not a lighthearted mass gainer. Add 49.8g of carbs, 6.7g of fats and 5g of creatine and this mass gainer certainly stacks up against the competition. With less than 3g of sugar per serving and 3 flavours to choose from, there should be something for everyone – or at least those not looking for a mass gainer with over 1000 calories per serving.
The cost of Informed Mass is pretty reasonable and will come in at around £1-£2 per serving depending on the size of package you buy and whether you can buy it whilst it is on offer – which often it is.
We tried the double chocolate flavour and found it to be delicious – in fact, one of the best tasting blends we have tried. There are also Rocky Road and Strawberries and Cream flavours to choose from.back to menu ↑
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass
Optimum Nutrition is the world’s number one brand for protein supplementation and they are very well known for the high quality of their products. Their Serious Mass product is on point in this regard and contains a whopping 1250 calories per serving alongside 50g of protein, a massive 252g of carbohydrates per serving as well as an impressive range of over 20 vitamins and minerals and 3g of creatine.
Optimum Nutrition offer 7 flavours to choose from with banana, chocolate, choc mint, chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, strawberry and vanilla all making the list. We opted for the latter and found it to be perfectly drinkable (if not our favourite vanilla shake ever) with a subtle sweet flavour and a smooth consistency when mixed with water.
As far as mass gainers go this is a big player and with less than 5g of fat per serving it should provide a good bulk without amassing too much fat. Anyone looking to create a carb and protein heavy calorie surplus will easily be able to do so with this weight gaining supplement. The only downside that we found was that the sugar content per serving was a little higher than we would like with 21g per serving – but this is difficult to avoid when taking on so many carbs and when convenience is taken in to consideration it is a small price to pay. In terms of cost, there are two size options (2.72kg and 5.45kg) and both compare well on price to the other brands we have reviewed here.back to menu ↑
The Protein Works – Total Mass Matrix Extreme
The Protein Works is another protein supplement brand that has evolved in to a big player over recent years. Although there are plenty of brands on the UK market these days, The Protein Works stands out among them for their excellent flavours and taste. We tested the Silk Chocolate flavour of their Total Mass Matrix Extreme range and the first thing that hit us was indeed the difference in taste and texture – it was sublime!
Total Mass Matrix Extreme doesn’t hold back any punches in the nutritional stakes either and each serving packs 974 calories which is comprised of 163g of carbs, 54g of protein and 12g of fat. Just be aware that the sugar content is pretty high with 38g of sugar per serving – that being said, there is a focus on good, wholesome and natural ingredients in their blend. Additionally, there is a mix of vitamins and minerals and a generous 5g of creatine per serving which means this could be taken as your only supplement if needs be.
There are 7 flavours to choose from in total and three sizes available for each. It is not the cheapest mass gainer on the market but it is one of the higher quality products thanks to its tri-blend of protein and multi-source carbs.
Overall, this is a top pick and if you can stomach the cost and don’t mind the additional sugar intake then this is a great option.back to menu ↑
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer
Our second Optimum Nutrition mass gainer comes in the form of their Gold Standard Gainer and is a less calorific version of their Serious Mass supplement. With the Gold Standard badge applied, this mass gainer has some of the finest ingredients of all the mass gainers reviewed on this page – but it is also one of the priciest and is only available in 3.25kg sizes.
Each serving provides 763 calories and is packed with 55g of protein and 105g of carbs at a 1:2 ratio. With just 12g of fat and just 10g of sugar content this mass gainer is fairly well balanced and provides a good balance for those looking for higher calories without going in to very high figures (1000+).
Although there are only three pretty uninspiring flavours to choose from (vanilla, strawberry and chocolate) the vanilla flavour we tested was tasty and had a good consistency with no lumps at all.
Gold Standard Gainer is a good option for anyone looking to bulk up and add high quality, calorie dense nutrition to their diet. At 763 calories you can easily control your daily intake without creating huge spikes and with Optimum Nutrition you can rest assured that you are not adding anything untoward in to your body.back to menu ↑
Bulk Protein – Serious Gainz
The Bulk Protein Company is a relatively new company when it comes to the supplementation market in the UK, but they have quickly built a good reputation for themselves and have brought to market a good mass gainer in the form of Serious Gainz. Referred to as more of a lean mass builder, this product is perhaps not the ideal option for those looking to pack on serious bulk, but it is a good choice for those looking to build lean muscle and who need help with getting more carbs and nutrient dense calories in to their diet.
Each serving provides 30g of protein, and 81g of carbs but what really sets this apart is the low fat levels with just 3.5g of fat per serving. With 468 calories, this is not the highest calorie intake you are going to get but for anyone aiming to create a calorie surplus of say 500 calories this is an easy way to do that if you are already working at a calorie intake/expenditure balance.
This is also one of the cheapest mass gainers on the market and is available in 5kg containers as standard. There are 8 flavours to choose from with chocolate, banana, vanilla, strawberry, white chocolate and red velvet all being available. We tested the vanilla flavour and found it to be on a par with MyProtein in terms of flavour and consistency.
Anyone looking for a cheap gainer or a lower fat content mass gainer then Serious Gainz is a very good option indeed.back to menu ↑
If you can look past the strange name, Mutant Mass is actually a really potent mass gainer and one that is well respected thanks to its blend of whole food carbs, high quality protein and a good mix of other ingredients all designed to help you pack on some serious size.
With a massive 1100 calories per serving and 56g of protein, this carb loaded (192g) weight gainer will give even the hardest of gainers all they need to pack on muscle mass. There are 6 flavours to choose from and we opted for the chocolate fudge brownie flavour – it was a little on the sweet side but the flavour overall was good.
Mutant Mass has a really solid nutritional profile and is one of the only mass gaining supplements that offers over 12g of BCAA’s per portion.
If you are looking for a low cost, high nutrition and high calorie packed formula then Mutant Mass is an excellent choice.back to menu ↑
USN Muscle Fuel Anabolic
USN is one of the leading protein supplement manufacturers in the UK and globally. They are positioned at the premium end of the market and as such the cost is reflected in this. That being said, the quality of USN products is consistently excellent and we found that to be the case with Muscle Fuel Anabolic. Pitched as an ‘all in one muscle mass catalyst’, Muscle Fuel by USN is a good middle ground approach to building mass.
With 53g of protein per serving, 77g of carbohydrates and 5g of creatine and with a total calorie count of 564 – this is a well balanced supplement. USN state that for those who are looking to bulk up then for the first 2-3 days you should have double servings followed by daily single servings. This of course all depends on your goals, your body type and what your other nutrition looks like.
There are 8 flavours to choose from and a range of pack sizes available too. We taste tested the chocolate flavour and found it to be smooth and tasty.
If you are looking for a lower calorie, high quality mass gainer then this option from USN is certainly worthy of consideration.